Hawaii governor, mayors make way for Mother’s Day flowers

HONOLULU — Hawaii Gov. David Ige said he has agreed with the state’s mayors to allow florists to sell flowers starting Friday, which will enable them to deliver bouquets on Mother’s Day.

Florists will be required to adhere to social distancing requirements to limit the spread of the coronavirus, including wearing masks, limiting the number of customers in stores and making hand sanitizer available.

The decision, announced late Monday, reverses an earlier announcement rescinding an exemption to the governor’s emergency rules that had been previously awarded to florists.

Some florists said not being allowed to deliver flowers for Mother’s Day could cost them tens of thousands of dollars.

Watanabe Floral in Honolulu planned to sell 1,000 arrangements via delivery without contact. The company said the state had told its management that Watanabe could sell flowers for one week only beginning May 4.

“The minute we got the exemption, we turned on our website to accept orders and within the first 48 hours we had 500 orders already,” said Monty Pereira, general manager of Watanabe Floral.

The company has experienced a 97% drop in sales since closing March 23.

“It’s going to be a very, very costly situation where, for some local florists, this could be the dagger where they cannot recover from this,” Pereira said.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.


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